India has been the focus of international attention in the past few years. Rhetoric concerning its rapid economic growth and the burgeoning middle classes suggests that something new and significant is taking place. Something has changed, we are told: India is shining, the elephant is rising, and the 21st century will be Indian. What unites these powerful re-imaginings of the Indian nation is the notion of change and its many ramifications. Election campaigns, media commentators, scholars, activists and drawing room debates all cut their teeth around this complex notion. Who is it that benefits from this change? Do such re-imaginings of nationhood really reflect the complex social reality of large parts of the Indian population?
The book starts with the premise that it is within the mass media where we can best understand how this change is imagined. From a kaleidoscope of perspectives the book interrogates this articulation and the myriad forms it takes – across India's newsrooms, television sets, cinema halls, mobile phones and computer screens.
Somnath Batabyal is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the University of Heidelberg.
Angad Chowdhry is a final year PhD candidate at SOAS, University of London.
Meenu Gaur is as an independent filmmaker.
Matti Pohjonen is a Teaching Fellow in Digital Culture at SOAS, University of London.